Google Assignments

What are the Google Assignments?

Google Assignments is an add-on application for learning management systems such as Blackboard that helps you distribute, analyze, and grade student work while leveraging the convenience of Google Docs and Google Drive for file submissions. Instructors can assign personalized Google Docs templates and worksheets to students, and students are able to submit their work in a variety of document and media file types.

Who Can Use It?

Anyone with a BU Kerberos account can enable and claim their BU Google account to access Google Assignments. To set up your BU Google account, follow the instructions on TechWeb (student accounts are activated by default). Once you have a BU Google account, access Google Drive and the Google Assignments through Blackboard from your web browser (Chrome is preferred). For more resources and information about Google Assignments, visit the Google Assignments TechWeb page.


  • Create templates using Google Docs for students to use. Assign due dates, point value, and offer assignment descriptions. Google Assignments automatically creates a column in your Blackboard Grade Center / Gradebook.
  • Allows students to submit Google Docs directly in Blackboard. Once students submit their assignments, ownership transfers to the instructor so students cannot make changes after submitting. Ownership transfers back to students once the instructor releases grades and comments. Supports revision assignments, where students can resubmit work after receiving substantive feedback.
  • Create rubrics, add comments, input grades, and utilize powerful Google features for comments and substantive feedback. Save rubrics and comments across assignments.
  • Instructors can enable an originality report for up to 3 assignments per course. The originality report uses Google’s search engine to scan for plagiarism. Note: this does not check student work against other student work–it only checks the web.
  • Students can also upload a variety of file types from Google Drive or their hard drive into the submission portal. These file types include:
    • Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
    • Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint
    • PDF
    • Image files
    • Text files
    • Video files (WEBM, MPEG4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, MPEG-PS, WMV, FLV, OGG)
  • Assignments, a Google Workspace App, supports the latest version of Chrome and the current and previous releases of Firefox, and Safari.


Google Docs (and other Google Workspace Apps) are becoming more ubiquitous in the student work flow, especially in group assignments and projects that involve other online tools. Translating Google Docs to other static formats (such as PDFs) for submission is now a step that can be removed through the implementation of Google Assignments.

Google Assignments also allows additional features such as version history (being able to see how a document has changed over time since its creation) and commenting/suggesting that are built into the Google Workspace App capabilities.


General Google Assignments Workflow

The Google Assignments workflow can be organized into four main steps that are accompanied by automated steps for file creation and sharing. 

  1. The instructor creates an assignment, attaches files, and publishes the assignment for students to access. → This automatically creates copies of the attached files for each student. File ownership transfers to the student and the instructor cannot access those files until the student submits it. 
  2. The student attaches files or edits their files and submit their work. → File ownership then transfers to the instructor. Students cannot edit their file or view comments once submitted. Note: Student access isn't removed, but rather is shifted to "View-Only". Students will be able to see any direct edits made to the text in Edit mode; however, they will not be able to see comments, edits made in "Suggest Mode", or scoring until the assignment is returned. 
  3. The instructor grades and provides feedback for the assignment. They return the student’s graded assignment. Students can view their comments and grades. → File ownership transfers back to the student. Full editing rights are restored to the student. 
  4. [Optional] Students can edit and resubmit assignments based on instructor feedback.

Adding a Google Assignment in Blackboard

Student Submissions in Google Assignments

Managing and Grading Student Submissions

Student View for Returned Assignments

Technology Support for Google Assignments

EdTech offers consultations on using Google Assignments. For more information or to schedule a one-on-one consultation, email the EdTech team via